The problem with unit tests and several ways to avoid it

The problem with unit tests and several ways to avoid it
March 19 08:00 2011 Print This Article

Unit tests are a big problem. They are a big problem for people who don’t do unit testing, because they can see our industry running forward and adopting unit testing practices, while they stay behind.
Here are several objections to unit testing. Make sure you make them to avoid this unit testing problem altogether.

The problem with unit tests and several ways to avoid it

Unit Testing Takes Too Much Time

Everybody knows that unit testing takes too much time. But why not let them hear it once more from you? Explain how software projects are perfectly tuned, allowing just enough time to get started with the project, but short enough so that you don’t lose that “release craze” that happens when you find out that there’s only two weeks left and you are not even half way through.
Add more time to that? Crazy! Those last two weeks of sleepless nights fixing bugs and creating thousands of new bugs are the most fun! Having unit tests would make things too easy and predictable – if you want that, join a nursery, bub. You’re in the software industry. The whole point is to create as many bluescreens as possible.
Plus, if you were doing unit testing, you’d have to tell your client that you can commit to less features. That is not acceptable. The whole point of saying that you’ll do something is to be able to split out in the last week and blame the customer for changing their mind all the time.

Your developers are already doing ‘unit testing’

Your developers are already doing unit testing. Only not the automated, repeatable kind. Instead, they do the kind where you don’t really do unit testing, you just write new code and pray your application compiles. If it does, you tell your team lead you think it works now, and take a week off work.

Unit Testing Will Hurt the Project

For example – if you see a developer reading something about unit testing, that’s a perfect example of ‘waste.’ Developers are supposed to write stuff. Not read stuff. In that time, the developer could have introduced another ‘really important’ line of code into the system.
You are a ‘lean’ startup and working on a minimum viable product.
We all know ‘lean’ is the next craze in agile development, so why not turn the tables and feed those agilists some of their own medicine? Declare the current project is in a ‘minimum viable product’ mode – and say that you’re focusing on getting to market now, and not focusing on quality.
It doesn’t matter if your project is really already working for thousands of customers, or if this is version 5.6 of that product. Your developers will thank you for putting that Lean tag above their head, and wear it with pride.


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Nataliia Vasylyna
Nataliia Vasylyna

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